Vacheron Constantin’s New Flagship Boutique Is A Love Letter To New York City
The unique flagship boutique opens today on New York City’s 57th Street.
We don’t want to go back to plain, old normal; we want to move forward to a better future. That is why the news that Vacheron Constantin is opening a major, two-floor North American Flagship retail store in New York City at 28 East 57th Street, between Madison and Park Avenue, today, Monday, June 14th, is so exciting.
Vacheron’s haute horology offerings are always best experienced in the metal. And this new space promises the opportunity to examine not just the brand’s novelties in person but also the chance to see timepieces and rarities from the company’s private collections that are typically found only in Geneva and have never been exhibited in the U.S.
Here is a quick peek into Vacheron Constantin’s revamped North American Flagship store.
Vacheron and New York have long had a certain synergy. In 1831, Jacques Barthélémi Vacheron wrote a letter of intent to expand the business to the United States. In 1832 the company established its first agent in New York. By the twentieth century, Vacheron Constantin watches were worn by business barons in the Rockefeller family, automobile manufacture James Ward Packard, and silver screen royalty like Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor.
American clients also inspired the many innovative and historically important Vacheron Constantin timepieces: the first large wristwatches for aviators, pocket watches for the U.S. Corps of Engineers during WWI, and, most famously, the classic cushion-shaped American 1921.
This iconic and eccentric timepiece celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2021. And the one-off made to commemorate this centennial is the star attraction of the New York Flagship’s opening exhibition, where it will remain on display until October.
“The new Vacheron Constantin Flagship in North America celebrates the relationship between our Maison and America that has existed since 1831,” said Vacheron Constantin’s CEO, Louis Ferla. “Engaging with the creative spirit of America and its many diverse cultures, Vacheron Constantin is ready to make 28 E 57th Street its new North American home.
Back to the Future
While history plays an important role in the Vacheron Constantin experience, the future is also very bright.
Located in the heart of Manhattan’s de facto luxury watch district, the new Vacheron Constantin Flagship spans over 4,500 square feet and two floors. Visually, the boutique is a treat. A glass façade opens directly onto 57th Street and features a bold, brass-colored design in the shape of the maison’s emblem, the Maltese Cross. This glass wall serves as a window into the manufacture’s soul, inviting prospective clients and collectors, as well as visitors, to explore the spirit of Vacheron Constantin’s contemporary watchmaking.
Once inside, visitors are greeted by a light-filled, two-story atrium. The focal point of this welcoming area is a blue straw wall decorated with Maltese cross marquetry. These elements lead guests to a discovery table where enthusiasts and the uninitiated alike can learn about the skills and artistry of Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers through an assortment of Métiers d’Art timepieces.
Visiting the New York boutique is meant to be an immersive experience. For example, you can take an exclusive interactive tour of the history of Vacheron Constantin in the United States via the “Chronogram.” Developed in partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Chronogram is an innovative tool that allows the public to explore the maison's heritage by utilizing emerging technologies to digitize Vacheron Constantin’s exceptional body of archives accumulated since 1755.
The first floor of the Vacheron Constantin flagship also features an area dedicated to displaying the restoration capabilities of the maison as well as rotating exhibitions of historic timepieces from the Vacheron Constantin private heritage collection in Geneva.
The Artist is Present
If the first floor of the 57th Street flagship is part museum, the second story of the boutique is the mother of all gift shops.
A sweeping staircase with bronze vertical columns inspired by 19th-century architecture leads to the second floor that houses a working watchmaking bench where guests can interact with an in-house watchmaker. This floor is also home to a custom strap station, where one can select both engraving and embossing customization options.
A VIP Lounge encourages lingering, and a family-friendly bar upstairs is equipped with games and refreshments that truly embody Vacheron Constantin’s dedication to clients.
The new Flagship is also home to every single model currently in the Vacheron Constantin collection, from no-frill time-only watches to high complication pieces. There are also boutique-exclusive models, a rotating assortment of Les Cabinotiers one-of-a-kind editions, and the first permanent “Les Collectionneurs” vintage watch offering.
Previously, “Les Collectionneurs” curated collection of restored vintage Vacheron Constantin watches from the 20th century were only available at dedicated but temporary annual events in Vacheron Constantin boutiques globally. But the North American Flagship in New York City will host the world’s first “Les Collectionneurs” permanent boutique offering.
As Louis Ferla explained in a press release, “This Flagship exemplifies Vacheron Constantin’s dedication to excellence and our motto, Do Better if Possible, and That is Always Possible.”
How To Visit
The Vacheron Constantin North American Flagship opens today. Located at 28 East 57th Street (between Madison & Park) in New York City, the boutique is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and 12 pm to 6 pm on Sunday.